Talking about News and Current Events in the Classroom

ESL students are just as interested in news and current events as everyone else! As ESL instructors we can provide them an environment to access and understand this information using English. Multiple websites provide news for English language learners, and some even provide it in levels, from beginning to advanced. Here are a few, with some key points about each one. What sites do you use? Please let me know, in the REPLY section, and I’ll post it here! Thanks!

ITESLJ.ORG  ITESLJ is not a news source per se, but it is a clearinghouse of information of all types.This first link includes information about different ways to use news and current events in the ESL classroom. It includes a sample lesson plan, and references the VOA website as its source.

Breaking News English.  One of the more well known sites, it has extensive topics and lesson plans. It offers a “mini-lesson” as well as very inclusive, in depth lessons. Provides information as docs, mp3s, and PDFs.

VOA News.  International news, sorted by topic or level. Provides audio, video in addition to news articles. There is an “English in your Language” section too. Additionally, the audio is slower paced for easier listening.

News in Levels.  This site has common interest stories as well as more serious news. It is organized according to topic and level. There are transcripts for the videos. Easy site to use.

The Times in Plain English.  This site uses the NY Times as a reference for their information.  It is not affiliated with the Times. It’s similar in appearance to the Times though, albeit much simpler and accessible articles.

CNN. On, CNN has a weekly student news video. Students can watch the video multiple times. When ready, they can follow the link, on the youtube page, for some vocabulary practice! This is a great resource for the higher level students! So, here is this week’s video, along with the link for practice! Click this link for the vocabulary

These next two sites are a little more Eurocentric, but there might be some lessons you could use if modified for American English. Or maybe just get inspired by something you see?!?


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